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- Tip : the sculptor made fun of himself, especially his lack of speed in fulfilling the order.
An american named Robert Thompson had the desire to thank France for the Statue of Liberty, so he raised funds from american pupils in order to build a statue of General La Fayette.
France agreed in 1899, and american sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925) was chosen and given a deadline, which happened to be the Universal Exposition of 1900.
Realizing he wouldn't make it on time, he did a plaster model which was installed in the Napoléon courtyard of the Louvre and inaugurated on Independance Day in 1900.
Later, when working on the bronze sculpture, he made quite a few changes out of insatisfaction from its earlier work : La Fayette's costume is now from the revolutionary times instead of being a Louis XVI-styled costume, the General doesn't have a three cornered hat and a wig anymore, and the sword he was previously holding in its case is s now pulled out and held upwards.
Only in 1908 did the bronze statue finally replace the plaster model. And in 1985, it was transported at its present location because of the preparation works for the Louvre's Pyramid.
Source : Translated from Wikipedia Contributors, "Statue équestre de La Fayette (Paris)"